Leading up to these Winter Olympics, there was an obvious sense among Canadians that the level of excitement was down from prior Olympics. This was due to a number of factors, including the time difference, lack of NHL players, and just the lack of coverage of the athletes who would be going.
Despite how little excitement there was going in to them this year, once they got started many Canadians got sucked right back into the spirit. With people staying up late into the night and waking early in the morning, these Olympics started to feel normal again.
It was names like Mikael Kingsbury, Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue, Mark McMorris, and many others that made Canadians realize why they love the tradition of watching the Winter Olympics every four years so much.
The first event that really brought Canadians to their television was the men’s slopestyle snowboarding. Canada won both silver and bronze in this event, but it was really the bronze medal win that was truly inspiring for Canada.
By now we have all heard the name Mark McMorris, the bronze medal winner in the men’s slopestyle event. His comeback from a near death experience to compete in the Olympics just 11 months later is incredible. Max Parrot, who won the silver medal in the event, took the backseat and let McMorris get all of the credit that he deserves for his comeback story.
Once people became interested again after the Men’s Slopestyle, the attention to the figure skating team event. More specifically, the attention turned to Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. Canada has been in love with the pair since they made their Olympic debut together in 2010 at the Vancouver games, winning gold. They became national stars and it saddened many to find out this is likely to be the last time that they compete together.
They helped Canada win the team event and then the focus shifted to the ice dance. This was by far the event that the most people tuned in to watch and they would not be disappointed. Virtue and Moir went on to set a world record and capture the gold medal. Canadian social media went insane, showing how in love they are with the pair. It appears that Moir and Virtue may be the most beloved Canadian olympians of all time.
The name Mikael Kingsbury does not have any crazy comeback story associated with it and Canadians are not in love with him like they are with Moir and Virtue, but he may be the most successful skier in history. There was only one thing missing from his trophy shelf and that was an Olympic gold medal.
He had the chance to capture his first gold medal and secure his legacy as the greatest skier in the moguls men’s freestyle skiing. Kingsbury did not just win the event, he absolutely dominated it. He has now won everything that he could possibly win in the sport and helped continue Canada’s success in the sport at the Olympics after Alexandre Bilodeau won in back-to-back Olympics in 2010 and 2014.
Canada currently is in third for total medal count and continues to have one of its most successful Olympic games. The will look to gain more medals in hockey, curling, skiing, and the other remaining events.
If these Olympics have shown us anything, it is that the stories are what really bring the interest and excitement to the games. Without the great individuals participating in the Olympics, the interest level would have never risen and the sense of patriotism and pride to be Canadian would not be as high. With tensions being so high in the world right now, it is good to have something to feel proud about instead of disappointment.